Scene 1. EXT. - SUBURBAN HOUSE POOL - NIGHT
Establishing shot with late 1950’s contemporary ranch house with a swimming pool behind it, set in a countryside-turning-suburban America.
It is a pitch-black night; flashes of lightening in the distant sky.
We see the scene in monochrome except for a green swimming pool, lit by underwater lighting, glowing in the darkness.
The kidney shaped pool looks like a huge green footprint on the night landscape.
We hear sappy romantic 1950’s pop music coming from a large pool side speaker. (”Chances Are” by Johnny Mathis is suggested.) Music throughout the story emanates from stereos, radios, a DJ's turntable or a jukebox. All songs are indicative of characters and are integral to the plot and the specific time period of the story and suggested tracks shouldn't be considered as background or 'film music'. They are part of the story.
We first meet KYLE James, 16, short dark hair, preppy, bright eyes and swimmer’s build as
KYLE emerges from beneath the pool’s surface in a cascade of rushing water.
KYLE somersaults over on his hands and begins to do ‘pirouettes’ upside down in the pool, imitating what he has seen in Esther Williams’ films. As the music builds and Kyle’s movements become more agitated but still balletic.
CUT TO: KYLE’S MOTHER, 1950’S UPPER MIDDLE-CLASS HOUSEWIFE (“BETTY DRAPER” TYPE)IS SEEN THROUGH EXTERIOR WINDOW OF THE HOUSE. SHE IS PEERING AT KYLE THROUGH THE KITCHEN WINDOW.
We can see inside the kitchen’s interior, a range of muted 1950s colors, behind her.
His MOTHER looks worried. She lights a cigarette. (Is her son going to turn out ‘like that?’ Kyle’s interests lately have started to concern her, but she keeps her concerns from his father.)
MOTHER stops worrying about that right now, and instead continues to worry about Kyle being in the water with the coming electrical storm. She is a worrier.
MOTHER looks up at the lightning through the window then covers her face with her hands in fright.
She is afraid for Kyle, on so many levels.
(This is a story about fear and the regrets that fear produces.)
CUT TO EXT. POOL
KYLE is now floating silently on his back, arms stretch outward, palms upward, not moving, but watching the sky erupt. Agitated birds flapping to a chorus of crickets in the background. The sky is black. Suddenly thunder, then a lightning bolt hits the ground in the distance behind the pool. It immediately begins to pour sheets of rain.
KYLE climbs the ladder, exiting the pool like a Bruce Webber photoshoot slowly.
We examine his body gradually, voyeuristically, from his head to his feet, as he ascends the pool ladder rung by rung. His physical beauty and his youth are breath-taking. He turns away from our view upon reaching the top of the ladder. The heavy rain then blocks our view. The pool in the background looks like a drop of green ink on wet paper.
We are mesmerized by the scene and by Kyle’s beauty. Our attention is held for a minute or so.
Fade to black.
"Copacetica" is the working title of a script currently in early stages of development for a feature-length film. Set in the 1960s, Copacetica's themes include being different, the celebration of being an outsider, seeing oneself from outside of the “norm”, and the interior conflicts of “coming out” within a continuum as a (gay) male in a straight world. These observations are set within the flux and instability of a period of great social change. Through the device of the fleeting moment, the story interrogates the certainties and uncertainties of the “norms” of modernity.